Even though prohibition came to an end in 1933, it took nearly 45 years for homebrewing to be legalized after that. And for residents of Mississippi it has take 80…. EIGHTY years for homebrewing to become legalized in the state. And now, the poor residents of Alabama are the only citizens in the United States of America that are not allowed to legally homebrew in this country.
Let’s take a quick look into legal history of homebrewing, since Prohibition……
January 17, 1920 - 18th Amendment is ratified. Alcohol consumption and production is banned. Prohibition starts.
December 5, 1933 - 21st Amendment is ratified. 18th Amendment is repealed. States are left in charge of alcohol laws. Clerical error results in the absence of the two very important words “and beer” from the statute that legalized home winemaking. Homebrewing remains illegal.
October 14, 1978 - President Jimmy Carter signs H.R. 1337, which contained an amendment sponsored by Senator Alan Cranston creating an exemption from taxation for beer brewed at home for personal or family use. The 21st Amendment predominantly leaves regulation of alcohol to the states. Therefore, even though homebrewing is federally legal, it is still up to individual states to legalize homebrewing in state codes.
December 7th, 1978 - Charlie Papazian and Charlie Matzen launch the American Homebrewers Association (AHA)
August 26, 2010 - Homebrewing legalized in Oklahoma, leaving Mississippi and Alabama as the only states where homebrewing is not legalized.
March 19, 2013 – The American Homebrewers Association (AHA) announces that Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant has signed a bill that will effectively legalize homebrewing throughout the state. Mississippi is now the 49th state to permit homebrewing.
“From our founding fathers to our current President, this country has a long and storied tradition of homebrewing,” said Gary Glass, director of the American Homebrewers Association. “We appreciate the support of all of the homebrewers, the dedicated grassroots efforts of Raise Your Pints and the legislators who have worked so diligently to make homebrewing a reality in Mississippi. We are grateful to Senator John Horhn who introduced this bill and to Governor Bryant for his quick action and support.”
Prior to today’s announcement, Mississippi and Alabama were the only two states that did not allow homebrewing. The AHA will continue working with homebrewers in Alabama to legalize homebrewing.
Stay tuned for more updates on Alabama’s fight to legalize homebrewing!